He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Written by Rumi
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
This poem is one of my new all-time favorites! I have recently been spending a lot of time looking at myself and finding solutions to problems I have created for myself, emotionally, and trying to better myself to walk the walk as a participant in this beautiful world. I just noticed recently, however, a result of starting this self-awareness process; I subconsciously developed this really ridiculous habit of trying to ignore all of my “nasty human feelings.” The very fact that I just called them “nasty” is evidence of the fact that I’m trying to give them less meaning in order to be able to ignore them.
I realized, however, that it all pertains to that need to beat myself up over insecurities rather than choosing to address them head on. It seems almost as though I do this because I feel like I can’t love or accept myself as being a flawed human. The really silly thing about suppressing those emotions, rather than facing them, is that when I do that, I am not increasing my opportunity to grow from the experience. Instead, what ends up happening is that I am increasing the issue by trying to suppress it, thus prolonging the response to learning from the experience.
To further explain, when I know this suppressed emotion (whatever it is at the time) is inside me and I refuse to have compassion for my own human struggle, I am only adding to the problem. After thinking about it, I feel it is so much more effort to hide than simply recognize and make the choice to put in the effort to move on.
When I was thinking about all of this, I realized that it’s like I get some sort of strange satisfaction out of the “punishment” of feeling bad about having an emotion and/or reaction to something which results to avoiding the issues. Almost seems as if, somehow, if I punish myself by suppressing the emotion, it will let me off the hook from feeling it.
The really amazing thing that Rumi said in this poem is that we should be “grateful for each feeling because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” I really believe that this is true! Interestingly, if I really look at all the anger and malice that I feel, it all stems from fear, and when I think about what fear originates from, it is a reaction to a prediction of what may happen.
The only way to squelch this fear is to find out what that unknown is. So, when I do get angry or envious or suppressive, I will now choose to look at them as a gift I am giving myself to see what I am afraid of so I can move through that fear.
After having learned that, I am so over living my life based on fear, which is based on a perceived future and not reality at all! I love this poem so much because essentially all the author is saying is that we should look for these human qualities within ourselves and rather than punish ourselves or try and ignore ourselves, we should hug ourselves and offer us a nice cup of tea.
If I don’t hold myself accountable for ending the war on me, how can I hold the world accountable for doing anything even remotely similar? What an amazing concept… I wonder if that’s what Gandhi meant?
Have a beautiful week, my fellow humans!